Mack

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Mack
Biographical information

Ended service:

February 2525

Gender:

Male programming

Description:

An avatar of a stereotypical American cowboy from the 19th century, generally covered in dust and grease. Mack was lighthearted and spoke in a southern drawl.

Color(s):

Gray

Political and military information

Affiliation:

UNSC

Functionality:

Maintaining almost one million semi autonomous JOTUNs; machines that perform most farming duties on Harvest.

 

Mack was a UNSC Agricultural Operations artificial intelligence construct serving planet Harvest in 2525 before and during the First Battle of Harvest.

Biography[edit]

Purpose[edit]

Mack was the AI in charge of all of Harvest's agricultural operations.[1] These planetary operations included the control of the JOTUN harvesting devices which were used for planting, maintaining, harvesting and packing of agriculture on Harvest, as well as preparing the produce for its journey up the planet's space elevators. He worked with a separate AI, Sif, who was responsible for Harvest's shipping operations, as well as the orbital space station Tiara and its seven space elevators.[2]

His data center was located in a sub-basement of a reactor complex north of Utgard. The tower of the complex was the "only building for hundreds of kilometers in any direction", according to PFC Wallace Jenkins.[3] His data center used to be that of a ship-board AI[4], and was unusual in the fact it contained not one, but two core logic matrices: one for Mack, and the other for the Planetary Security Intelligence Loki, originally the AI of the UNSC Skidbladnir, a Phoenix-class colony ship which transported Harvest's first settlers, and Mack's "alter ego" of sorts. Loki and Mack could not occupy their shared data center simultaneously; one of them had to have the vast majority of his core logic fragmented into the thousands of JOTUNs around Harvest while the other occupied one of the dual core logic matrices. They had performed such switches many times since Harvest's colonization, keeping the worst effects of rampancy at bay.[5]

Battle of Harvest[edit]

When the crew of the Rapid Conversion pressed their attack on Harvest, Mack exchanged places with Loki, transmitting himself into the thousands of JOTUN machines while Loki moved into the alternate matrix in their shared data center. Loki shortly afterwards managed to disable Sif, using a military virus to render her nearly non-operational. Loki kept one cluster online as a precaution, in case he needed to access the Tiara's systems.[6] Though, she was later partially repaired by the alien Lighter Than Some.[7]

Mack had made Loki promise to keep Sif safe, but Mack did not entirely trust the PSI and kept a small fragment of his own logic in the data center. Loki broke his promise in the interest of humanity's security, believing Sif should be destroyed in order to prevent her data, including the locations of other human colonies, from falling into alien hands. When Mack discovered Loki planned to destroy Sif, Mack (in the form of a small army of various JOTUNs) launched an assault on the reactor tower and the adjacent mass driver. He arrived as the evacuation of Harvest began and briefly assisted Staff Sergeant Byrne and his troops in defending the reactor tower, finishing off an attack by newly constructed Type-25 Choppers.[8]

Mack immediately turned his attention on Loki; while the all-in-one JOTUNs hacked the maser dish and purged Loki's fragment from Sif's clusters, a combine pinned the mass driver's gimbal to the ground, preventing it from firing into the Tiara and destroying Sif. Mack hoped to bring Sif down into his machines, but there was too much damage to her arrays (thanks to the Unggoy Deacon Dadab wrecking the data center with his plasma pistol). Sif, who had by now gone rampant by her own understanding of the term, understood that Loki was correct in believing the Covenant would return to plunder her arrays even if the current attack is staved off, and managed to convince Mack to let Loki destroy her with the mass driver.[7]

Mack witnessed Loki's destruction some time later when the Covenant destroyed the reactor tower.

Final transmissions[edit]

After the humans evacuated from Harvest, an ONI RQ-XII Drone originally deployed by the sloop Walk of Shame recorded Mack's final transmissions.[9]

He transmitted from the JOTUNs he still occupied to the destroyed Sif as the Covenant burned his world. His transmissions vary in size and complexity based on the machine he is using to transmit; the more recent series four and five models of JOTUNs are able to support enough of his logic to quote Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 (Sif final words to Mack) and to explain what happened to Harvest after the evacuation and the destruction of the Tiara, and the reasoning behind his actions during the following months, while older series one and two models could only make out a few characters or perhaps a couple of words. As the Covenant destroyed the transmitting machine, it took Mack weeks to gather enough of himself into one machine and resume transmitting almost exactly where he left off.

Mack tried to warn off the CMA Argo (sent to investigate the loss of contact with Harvest), but the ship was too far away for his radio to work effectively. He witnessed it being destroyed by the Rapid Conversion, who had paused in their work of glassing the planet long enough to do so.[10]

Mack undertook one last mission, a very human task of burying Sif's collapsed elevator strands. He at least succeeded in part, as his last words speak of her as "veins of gold I've laid" and that when the planet is recolonized, the ploughing of the soil will mix their destroyed parts and the roots of new crops will keep them close for eternity, partially quoting Sif's last words to Mack, Shakespeare's Sonnet 18.[11]

The drone containing Mack's final transmissions was recovered eight months later by the destroyer Heracles and later accessed by Dr. Catherine Halsey.[9]

Personality and traits[edit]

Mack was well-liked by the population of Harvest, and was said to fill the role of "everyone's favorite uncle". He frequently helped the people of Harvest with their problems, and would offer free advice about an issue before it even became known to the citizen. He offered a sense of security and safety the people of Harvest, as evidenced by the fact that the mere presence of his avatar calmed and comforted them during the evacuation of Gladsheim.

Mack often would playfully "flirt" with Sif; although simple text COMs were the most efficient means of communication between AIs, he would often send her a fragment of his personality to speak in his usual spaghetti-western manner. He once misquoted Shakespeare in an attempt to impress Sif, and to prove a point (that her knowledge far outstripped his), Sif proceeded to send him copies of every play in every language she had in her considerable databanks.

Mack's eccentric behavior usually irritated Sif, but she did trust him to get his end of work done on time (even if she did not appreciate his desire to help her if she looked as though she needed it). When Mack revealed to Sif that Harvest was about to come under attack by aliens and he was about to trade places with Loki, she abandoned her harsher responses for gentle reciprocation. After Loki disabled her and Mack in turn disabled Loki and attempted to rescue her, she conveyed her love to Mack using Shakespeare's famous Sonnet 18, which he quoted during his final transmissions.

Appearance[edit]

His chosen avatar was that of an American cowboy, reminiscent of those from old 20th-century western movies. He usually had messy black hair and he wears cracked leather work boots, blue denim jeans, a gingham pearl-snap shirt rolled up to his arms, and a sun-bleached gray cowboy hat. He usually presented his avatar covered in dust and grease, to promote the idea that he had been hard at work.[12] He was lighthearted and spoke in a southern or western drawl.[13]

List of appearances[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 74
  2. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 28
  3. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 210
  4. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 183
  5. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 184
  6. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 332
  7. ^ a b Halo: Contact Harvest, page 376
  8. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 361
  9. ^ a b Halo: Contact Harvest, page 391
  10. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 393
  11. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, pages 395-396
  12. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, pages 28-29
  13. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 30